A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 23, 2007
Oscar (Academy Award)

The Academy Award was first awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) in 1929. The origin of the name “Oscar” for the Academy Award has long been contested.

The Motion Picture Almanac (1931), in the article “Studio Slanguage,” explained that “Oscar” stands for “Oscillations.” ("OSCILLATIONS.  Waves, particularly of high-frequency alternating current.") It is very possible that this is the source of “Oscar,” or was thought to be the source by some in the film industry. Television’s “Emmy” award is from the television crew slang term “Immy,” the nickname for an “image orthicon” (a camera tube used in TV production).

The term “Oscar” (for Academy Award) was first cited in print in the March 17, 1934 New York Daily News, in a story by entertainment writer Sidney Skolsky. Skolsky explained himself in greater detail in his 1975 Hollywood memoir. I submitted the 1934 “Oscar” citation for the Oxford English Dictionary.

In his book Don’t Get Me Wrong—I Love Hollywood (1975), Skolsky wrote:

I needed the magic name fast. But fast! I remembered the vaudeville shows I’d seen. The comedians having fun with the orchestra leader in the pit would say, “Will you have a cigar, Oscar?” The orchestra leader reached for it; the comedians backed away, making a comical remark. The audience laughed at Oscar. I started hitting the keys. “Katharine Hepburn won the Oscar for her performance as Eva Lovelace in Morning Glory, her third Hollywood film.” I felt better. I was having fun. I filed and forgot.

Oscar Hammerstein I (1847-1919) was a theater impresario in New York City; the Hammerstein Ballroom on West 34th Street was the location of his Manhattan Opera House. Hammerstein (the grandfather of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II) was also a cigar manufacturer who founded the U.S. Tobacco Journal. The vaudeville line “Have a cigar?” that Skolsky remembered was in imitation of Oscar Hammerstein.

Former Academy Executive Secretary Margaret Herrick is often cited to have named the Academy Award after her “Uncle Oscar,” but no citation prior to Skolsky’s has been found (and Skolsky scoffed at this theory). This “Uncle Oscar” story has been cited in print since at least 1943 (when newspapers referred to Herrick as “Mrs. Donald Gledhill"). Actress Bette Davis further popularized the name “Oscar” after she won an Academy Award in 1936.

Also at the 6th Academy Awards in March 1934, Walt Disney‘s Three Little Pigs won for “Best Short Subject, Cartoon.” Since at least 1986, it’s sometimes said that Disney used “Oscar” in his acceptance speech, but there is no evidence at all for this.

[This entry includes research by Fred Shapiro, who helped find the March 17, 1934 citation in the digitized Daily News. Ben Zimmer located the 1929 screen glossary.]


Wikipedia: Academy Award
The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers. The formal ceremony at which the awards are presented is among the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremonies in the world.

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, May 16, 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood to honor outstanding film achievements of 1927 and 1928. It was hosted by actor Douglas Fairbanks and director William C. DeMille. 
(...)
The Oscar
The official name of the Oscar statuette is the Academy Award of Merit. Made of gold-plated britannium on a black metal base, it is 13.5 in (34 cm) tall, weighs 8.5 lb (3.85 kg) and depicts a knight rendered in Art Deco style holding a crusader’s sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes. The five spokes each represent the original branches of the Academy: Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers and Technicians. MGM’s art director Cedric Gibbons, one of the original Academy members, supervised the design of the award trophy by printing the design on scroll. In need of a model for his statue Gibbons was introduced by his then wife Dolores del Río to Emilio “El Indio” Fernández. Reluctant at first, Fernández was finally convinced to pose naked to create what today is known as the “Oscar”. Then sculptor George Stanley sculpted Gibbons’ design in clay, and Alex Smith cast the statue in tin and copper and then gold-plated it over a composition of 92.5 percent tin and 7.5 percent copper. The only addition to the Oscar since it was created is a minor streamlining of the base. Approximately 40 Oscars are made each year in Chicago, Illinois by the manufacturer, R.S. Owens. If they fail to meet strict quality control standards, the statuettes are cut in half and melted down.

The root of the name “Oscar” is contested. One biography of Bette Davis claims that she named the Oscar after her first husband, bandleader Harmon Oscar Nelson. Another claimed origin is that of the Academy’s Executive Secretary, Margaret Herrick, who first saw the award in 1931 and made reference of the statuette reminding her of her Uncle Oscar. Columnist Sidney Skolsky was present during Herrick’s naming and seized the name in his byline, “Employees have affectionately dubbed their famous statuette ‘Oscar’” (Levy 2003). Both Oscar and Academy Award are registered trademarks of the Academy, fiercely protected through litigation and threats thereof.

IInternet Movie Database
Biography for
Sidney Skolsky

Date of Birth
2 May 1905, New York, New York, USA

Date of Death
3 May 1983, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Mini Biography
The famous columnist Sidney Skolsky, who perhaps has the best claim to having invented the term “Oscar” for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Award of Merit (the official name of the Academy Award, which bore the inscription “First Award for Merit” up until the 1950s), was born in New York City in 1903. A graduate of New York University, he became a Broadway press agent, then graduated to the newspapers, becoming a Broadway columnist in 1929.  (...)

Wikipedia: Oscar Hammerstein I
Oscar Hammerstein I (8 May 1847 - 1 August 1919) was a theater impresario in New York City. His private passion was for opera, and he rekindled its popularity in America. He was the grandfather of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.

Cigar manufacturer
Oscar Hammerstein I was born in Stettin, then in Prussia, to a German-Jewish family consisting of Abraham Hammerstein and his first wife, Berthe. He took up music at an early age. His mother died when he was fifteen years old, and he fled his father, who maltreated him, to seek his fortunes in the United States, arriving in New York City in 1864. He worked sweeping the floor in a cigar factory. Ten years later, he founded the U.S. Tobacco Journal. He also moonlighted as a theater manager in the downtown German theaters.

He was an innovator in the tobacco industry and held patents for 52 inventions, 44 of them related to the cigar-manufacturing process. He became wealthy industrializing cigar manufacturing, and his tobacco fortune provided the money needed to pursue his theater interests.

Producer and impresario
He built his first theater, the Harlem Opera House, at 125th Street in 1889. His second theater, the Columbus Theatre, was built in 1890 on the same street. His third theater was the first Manhattan Opera House, built in 1893 on 34th Street. This failed as an opera house and was used, in partnership with Koster & Bial, to present variety shows. Embittered by the partnership, he opened a fourth venue, the Olympia Theatre, on Longacre Square. Nine years later, Longacre Square was renamed Times Square, and the area had become, through his efforts, a thriving theater district.

Hammerstein built three more theaters there, the Victoria Theatre (1898), which turned to vaudeville presentation in 1904 and was managed by his son, Willie Hammerstein; the Republic Theatre was built in 1900 and leased to eccentric producer David Belasco, in 1901, and the Lew Fields Theatre for Lew Fields (half of the Vaudeville team Weber and Fields, and the father of lyricist Dorothy Fields), in 1904. Hammerstein also opened Hammerstein’s Roof Garden above the Victoria and Republic theatres.

Grand opera
In 1906, Hammerstein, dissatisfied with the Metropolitan Opera’s productions, opened an eighth theater, his second Manhattan Opera House, to directly (and successfully) compete with it. He opened the Philadelphia Opera House in 1908, which, however, he sold early in 1910.New International Encyclopedia
(...)
The Manhattan Opera House on 34th Street was renamed the “Hammerstein Ballroom” in New York City at the Manhattan Center Studios in his honor.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Oscar, n.3
[Origin uncertain; perh. < the name of Oscar Pierce, 20th-cent. U.S. wheat and fruit grower (see note).
In 1931 Margaret Herrick, librarian (and later executive director) of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is said to have remarked that the statuette reminded her of her ‘Uncle Oscar’, the name by which she called her cousin Oscar Pierce. The name was first used officially by the Academy in 1939.]
Any of the statuettes awarded annually since 1928 in Hollywood, United States, by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for excellence in film acting, directing, and other aspects of film-making; = Academy award n. at ACADEMY n. Compounds 2. the Oscars: the ceremony at which these awards are presented.
1934 Daily News (N.Y.) 19 Mar. 32/3 Although Katharine Hepburn wasn’t present to receive her Oscar, her constant companion and the gal she resides with in Hollywood, Laura Harding, was there [etc.].
1936 Time 16 Mar. 56/2 Neither Director Ford nor Screenwriter Nichols appeared to claim their prizessmall gold statuettes which Hollywood calls ‘Oscars’.
1949 Life 28 Mar. 95/2 Grant-Realm Television Productions..won television’s equivalent of an Oscarthe first Emmy.

12 January 1896, New York (NY) Times, pg. 12:
RECOVERED HIS LOST NOTE.
Oscar Hammerstein, After a Month’s Search, Is at Last Successful.
(...)
“Have a cigar,” said Mr. Hammerstein, passing to the reporter a thick cigar-shaped cork penholder. 

Old Fulton Post Cards
10 August 1905, Albany (NY) Evening Journal, “Six Short Stories,” pg. ?, col. 1:
Hammerstein’s Gift Cigar.
Oscar Hammerstein was standing in the lobby of his theater yesterday afternoon, his famous fedora pulled down rakishly over his left eye and a look of supreme content shining from his benevolent face.

“Hello, Oscar,” said a friend who happened to be passing by and saw the genial glow and famous fedora.

“Hello, yourself,” said Mr. Hammerstein.

“Have a cigar?” continued the friend, producing a couple of Connecticut fillers (illegible—ed.) from his waistcoat pocket.

“Tanks,” said Mr. Hammerstein. “Much obliged. I’ll smoke this after a while. I won’t take it now ‘else I lose my lunch. Tanks.”

William Hammerstein, son of the inimitable Oscar, had been standing by, and as soon as the friend has disappeared, stepped up to his father to ask his opinion on a matter of business.

“Here, Willy, is a cigar for you,” said Oscar, pulling the weed out of his pocket and handing it to his offspring. “Smoke it. I don’t do it ‘else I lose my lunch, It’s yours, Willy. Smoke it.”

“Is that the way you do with things other people give you?” asked the son. “I saw a man present you with this only a minute ago.”

“I know it, Willy, but I don’t like der looks of der cigar.”

“But, father, you should never look a gift horse in the mouth.”

“Yes, that’s a fact,” replied Oscar; “that’s a fact. Und I should nefer put a gift cigar in der mouth. Keep der cigar, Willy, it’s yours.”—New York Globe.

13 October 1912, Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Life Through the Eyes of Hammerstein,” section 6, pg. 3:
A FEW days ago I called on Oscar Hammerstein to have a little chat with him on the comedy or tragedy called life. I have known him some years and have seen him from many sides and in many relationships.

It is hardly necessary to say that the Hammerstein of the cartoon and of popular imagination is a very different person from the Hammerstein of actuality. I remember, for instance, a vaudeville sketch in which he was represented as saying every few minutes, “Have a cigar?” And the repetition of this question was regarded by the audience as something supremely characteristic.

20 October 1912, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer “Oscar Hammerstein Says ‘Opera is Women’s Stuff’ and the Biggest Obstacle To Its Success in the World is the Contemptible Selfishness of “male Men’” by Archie Bell, Dramatic sec. pg. 1, col. 6:
And contrary to all reports of interviews with Oscar that I have ever seen, he didn’t add, “have a cigar.”

24 November 1929, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Talkies Give New Tongue: Advent of Sound Pictures Brings Forth Complete Vocabulary of Screen Words and Phrases” compiled by Philip K. Scheuer, The Cream Sheet, pg. 26, col. 6:
Oscar—Term for “electrical oscillations.”

2 February 1930, Allentown (PA) Morning Call, “Many New Terms Born in Talkies,” pg. 20, col. 4:
“Oscar” is the correct word for electrical oscillations; ...

Archive.org
The Motion Picture Almanac (1931)
New York, NY: The Quigley Publishing Company
1931
Pg. 94, col. 2 ("Studio Slanguage"):
OSCAR.  Slang for OSCILLATIONS.
OSCILLATIONS.  Waves, particularly of high-frequency alternating current.

Old Fulton Post Cards
2 January 1931, New York (NY) Evening Post, “Mothers and Babies WIn Place in Talkie Studios,” pg. 2, cols. 6-7:
HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 2 (AP) --
(...)
Oscar—Slang for “oscillations.”

8 January 1931, New Orleans (LA) Item, “Argot,” pg. 14, col. 1:
A GLOSSARY of talkie studio slang gives us:
(...)
“Oscar—oscillations.”

17 March 1934, Daily News (New York, NY), pg. 3, col. 2:
Film Crowns Hepburn,
Laughton Year’s Best

By SIDNEY SKOLSKY
HOLLYWOOD, March 16.—The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made its annual awards for the outstanding achievements in the motion picture field at their banquet in the Ambassador Hotel this evening.

These awards mean to Hollywood what the Pulitzer prize means to dramatists and novelists. It is the picture people’s main incentive to strive for an “artistic achievement” in an industry where their work is judged by box office figures.

At tonight’s banquet the winners, while movieland looked on and applauded, were presented with bronze statues. To the profession these are called Oscars.

“Cavalcade" Selected.
Here are a few winners who will now have a little Oscar in their home: ...
(...)
Pg. 23, col. 2 (“‘34 Film Prizes Go to Hepburn and Laughton"):
The Oscar for the best production of the year went to Fox for “Cavalcade.”
(...)
Pg. 23, col. 3:
Laughton Absent.
Laughton, who started as a kitchen clerk in the Claridge Hotel in London, also was not present to receive his little Oscar. The actor at present is touring the provinces of England in Shakespearean plays at a $100-a-week salary. He always wanted to prove he could act.

The Oscar for best direction went to Frank Lloyd of “Cavalcade.”

Saral Y. Mason and Victor Heerman will take turns on the Oscar for their adaptation on “Little Women.”

19 March 1934, Daily News (New York, NY), pg. 32, col. 3:
Hollywood
By Sidney Skolsky
The Gossipel Truth
Palm Springs, Cal., March 18.
THE ACADEMY awards met with the approval of Hollywood, there being practically no dissension...The Academy went out of its way to make the results honest and announced that balloting would continue until 8:00 o’clock of the banquet evening...Then many players arrive late and demanded the right to vote...So voting continued until 10 o’clock or for two hours after the ballot boxes were supposed to be closed...It was King Vidor who said: “This year the election is on the level”...Which caused every one to comment about the other years...Although Katharine Hepburn wasn’t present to receive her Oscar, her constant companion and the gal she resides with in Hollywood, Laura Harding, was there to hear Hepburn get a round of applause for a change…

Time magazine
“Oscars”
Monday, Mar. 26, 1934
In the cinema industry the small gold-washed statuets (sic) which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences annually awards for meritorious productions and performances are called “Oscars.’’ Usually Oscars are awarded in November.

June 1936, Screenland, pg. 19:
AN OPEN LETTER TO BETTE DAVIS. (...)
What to do with an Academy Award winner who doesn’t pretend to be oh-so-surprised-is-this-really-all-for-little-me as she dashes in to receive the award while on her way to somewhere; who does want to share the statue with others, and who calls the statue Oscar, of all things?

Time magazine
Mouse’s Return
Monday, Sep. 11, 1939
For almost a year bright little Sidney Skolsky has been a columnist without a column. A onetime Earl Carroll press-agent and Broadway gossip, Skolsky went to Hollywood for the New York Daily News in 1934, quit three years later when he was ordered back to New York. He worked for a while for King Features Syndicate, but he and Louella Parsons disagreed on whether Garbo would marry Stokowski (Skolsky was right) and that got him in bad with Hearst. Since the fall of 1938 “the little black mouse” has been a familiar sight in Hollywood studios and night clubs, but nobody has given him a contract.

This week Sidney Skolsky joined the growing stable of writers that Publisher George Backer is assembling for his New York Post. Hollywood thought Publisher Backer had picked the right horse, for Skolsky is one of the ablest columnists in the business (he originated the term “Oscar” for Academy Awards) and by far the most popular.

25 February 1943, Greensboro (NC) Record, “In Hollywood” by Erskine Johnson (NEA Service Staff Correspondent), pg. 11, col. 4:
Bette Didn’t Name Him.
Hollywood legend credits Bette Davis with having first addressed an academy statuette as Oscar. But Hollywood legend is wrong. First to use the name Oscar was Mrs. Donald Gledhill, wife of the academy’s executive secretary.

She and her husband kidded each other with the expression “How’s your Uncle Oscar?” Visiting her husband’s office one day in 1936, Mrs. Gledhill saw one of the statuettes on his desk. “Oh!” she exclaimed, “So that’s your Uncle Oscar!” Officials of the academy took up the name. Bette’s press agent heard about it and credited it to the actress.

9 April 1944, Seattle (WA) Times, “Oscar,” Magazine Section (EveryWeek Magazine), pg. 6, col. 2:
OSCAR has had a colorful career, but nothing is quite as interesting as the manner in which he got his nickname. Here is the previously unrevealed but true story of the christening of the annual award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In 1931, Donald Gledhill, executive secretary of the Academy, brought his new bride to the office for the first time, and showed her a gold statuette on his desk. Mrs. Gledhill, who now serves as secretary while her husband fights for Uncle Sam as a captain, studied the statuette carefully. She noted its square jaw and sharp, mannish features.

“She reminds me of my Uncle Oscar,” she remarked. Outside the door sat a newspaper columnist, waiting for a friend. Overhearing the reference to Oscar, he published a single line in his column next day:

“Academy employees have affectionately dubbed their famous gold statuette—Oscar.”

Bette Davis and other stars later used the nickname in press interviews, and the screen’s most distinguished art symbol became world famous as Oscar—idol of idols.

23 November 1947, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE), “Stage and Screen” by Jake Rachman, pg. 12-E, col. 3:
That gold-plated statuette awarded annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood was named in a moment of startled recognition by Mrs. Margaret Herrick, present executive secretary of the academy.

Back in 1931 when she first joined the organization, she took one look at the statuette and gasped, “He reminds me of my Uncle Oscar.” As a matter of record, Uncle Oscar Pierce wasn’t actually Mrs. Herrick’s uncle at all, but a first cousin of Mrs. Herrick’s mother.

Biographies of both Oscar the statuette and Oscar the uncle-first cousin will be found in the 1947-48 edition of the International Motion Picture Almanac, published this month by Quigley Publications, New York. Their biographies are but two of the 11 thousand in the volume of 1,050 pages.

10 March 1949, Riverside (CA) Daily Press, “In Hollywood” by Erskine Johnson (NEA Staff Correspondent), pg. 11, col. 3:
Back in 1931, Margaret Herrick, the academy’s first secretary, arrived for her first day at work. She was introduced to the statuette. SHe laughed and said:

“Isn’t he cute? He reminds me of my Uncle Oscar.”

The name stuck.

18 February 1955, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Introducing Oscar To Dallas Film Fans” by John Rosenfield, pt. 2, pg. 6, cols. 1-2:
The statuette didn’t get its name, Oscar, until 1931. Mrs. Margaret Herrick, executive secretary of the Academy, kept one on her desk. Her office traffic naturally wisecracked, being members of a profession that can’t ask for paper clips prosaically. “He reminds me of my Uncle Oscar,” Herrick said in answer to some verbal sortie. In the room sat a gossip columnist who published this morsel of news the next day:

“Academy employees have affectionately dubbed their famous statuette Oscar.”

HE WAS OSCAR from then on. That invaluable trade annual, Motion Picture Almanac, recently embarked on research, realizing that Oscar is as historical as Alexander the Great after twenty-six years.

it learned that Mrs. Herrick’s Uncle Oscar is not her real uncle at all but a second cousin. His real name is Oscar Pierce and, wouldn’t you know it, he is a Texan. He lived many year in California though, and retired on the profits of wheat and fruit farming.

Mrs. Herrick says she has lost track of him. If he is still living, he must be well into his eighties. He has never come forward to claim his fame or even to sue anybody for the unauthorized use of his name.

Mrs. Herrick’s mother insists that the christening was purely guess-work.Mrs. Herrick hadn’t seen Oscar in years. Besides, the figurine doesn’t look like Oscar at all.

All of which proves the futility of trying to shape one’s destiny. Oscar Pierce, who never did anything about it, is immortal on the mantles of the movie great. Mrs.Herrick adds there is a strong likelihood that Uncle Oscar has never even heard about Oscar.
(...)
If Oscar Pierce did not register his name, the Academy was quick to copyright Oscar.

Don’t Get Me Wrong—I Love Hollywood
by Sidney Skolsky
New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
1975
Pg. 66: 
Much has happened since I covered my first Academy Awards, on March 15, 1934.
Pg. 67: 
It was my first Academy Awards night when I gave the gold statuette a name. I wasn’t trying to make it legitimate. The snobbery of that particular Academy Award annoyed me. I wanted to make the gold statuette human. I had witnessed the proper table bit for the first time. I returned to my table to eat the chicken, now cold. I listened to the long speeches by the Academy president and leaders of the industry. I listened to the acceptance speeches I had heard at the prop banquet table, now spoken with false surprise. The best actor, Charles Laughton (Henry VII), and the best actress, Katharine Hepburn (Morning Glory), weren’t present. The people who accepted for them took advantage of the opportunity. It was twelve thirty when I finally arrived at the Western Union office on Wilcox to write and file my story. I had listened to Academy, industry, and acceptance talk since seven thirty. Raymond Chandler described the Academy Awards as “the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of the neck.” There I was with my notes, a typewriter, blank paper, and that Chandler feeling. I’m not a good speller, and I didn’t have my dictionary with me.  When it came to write gold statuette, I had to get up and ask the Western Union (Pg. 68—ed.) manager how to spell statuette. His spelling of the word lasted for a page. After I had filed the page and couldn’t refer to it for the spelling of statuette, I had to walk over and ask the manager again. The word “statuette” really threw me. Freud would explain that I resented the word and didn’t want to know how to spell it. You know how people can rub you the wrong way. The word was a crowd of people. I’d show them, acting so high and mighty about their prize. I’d give it a name. A name that would erase their phony dignity. I needed the magic name fast. But fast! I remembered the vaudeville shows I’d seen. The comedians having fun with the orchestra leader in the pit would say, “Will you have a cigar, Oscar?” The orchestra leader reached for it; the comedians backed away, making a comical remark. The audience laughed at Oscar. I started hitting the keys. “Katharine Hepburn won the Oscar for her performance as Eva Lovelace in Morning Glory, her third Hollywood film.” I felt better. I was having fun. I filed and forgot.

During the next year of columns, whenever referring to the Academy Award, I used the word “Oscar.” In a few years Oscar was the accepted name. It proved to be the magic name.

I didn’t give it another thought until reading that two women, Bette Davis and Margaret Herrick (executive director of the Academy), claimed they had named the gold statuette Oscar. Bette’s claim was that she had named her first award after her first husband, H. Oscar Nelson. Margaret’s claim was she had named the statuette after her uncle, Oscar Pierce, because the golden boy resembled her uncle, “a Texas wheat farmer of dignity, austerity, and commanding authority.”

I don’t like to argue with women, especially when they’re talented and friends. I registered my complaint and staked my claim. About the time of her third marriage, Bette Davis realized that although she received her first Oscar statuette for her 1935 film Dangerous, she really didn’t get the award until 1936. Thus, she had christened the statuette two years after my story appeared in the New York Daily News. Betty relinquished her claim as gracefully as she relinquished H. Oscar Nelson.

Margaret Herrick still persists, in a friendly manner. I have yet to see a photograph of Uncle Oscar Pierce. I’ve told Margaret (Pg. 69—ed.) I’d buy her Rudolph Valentino’s Falcon Lair or seal all her envelopes for a year if she can show me the gold statuette referred to as Oscar in print before March 16, 1934. To date, I don’t have to save to buy Falcon’s Lair or worry about seling her letters.

24 March 1986, Detroit (MI) Free Press, “An inside, unofficial look at the history of the Oscars” by Bettelou Peterson, pg. 4C, cols. 3-4:
But Walt Disney was first to call him Oscar in public in his acceptance speech for “Best Cartoon,” “The Three Little Pigs,” in 1932.
(From the book Inside Oscar by Mason Wiley & Damien Bona.—ed.)

13 March 1994, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Gripe, Gripe, Gripe, Gripe. Smooch!” by Michael Wilmington, Magazine sec., pg. 19, col. 3:
Or was he, as 1931 Academy librarian Margaret Herrick first claimed, the spitting image of her Uncle Oscar: a belief that triggered the widespread nickname first pronounced publicly by Walt Disney while accepting his 1932-3 “Three Little Pigs” cartoon award?

(Trademark)
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Owner (REGISTRANT) ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES CORPORATION CALIFORNIA 8949 WILSHIRE BLVD. BEVERLY HILLS CALIFORNIA 90211
Attorney of Record J MICHAEL CLEARY
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Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73041474
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Owner (REGISTRANT) ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURES ARTS AND SCIENCES CORPORATION CALIFORNIA 8949 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD BEVERLY HILLS CALIFORNIA 90211
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(Trademark)
Word Mark OSCARS
Goods and Services IC 041. US 107. G & S: ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES, NAMELY, TELECASTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE RECOGNITION OF DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN THE MOTION PICTURE INDUSTRY. FIRST USE: 19870330. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19870330
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73741826
Filing Date July 25, 1988
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition December 13, 1988
Registration Number 1528890
Registration Date March 7, 1989
Owner (REGISTRANT) ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES CORPORATION CALIFORNIA 8949 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD BEVERLY HILLS CALIFORNIA 902111972
Attorney of Record J. MICHAEL CLEARY
Prior Registrations 1096990;1118751
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFilm Festivals • Sunday, December 23, 2007 • Permalink


I like watching the Oscars. I like it when they play the theme songs of the movies nominated. I am always waiting for the Best Movie, Best Actress and Best Actor. I also enjoy looking at all the beautiful evening gowns the celebrities are wearing.

Posted by Shine  on  12/10  at  07:23 AM

Dear Mr. Popik,

Thank you for researching this topic as extensively as you’ve done here.

Coincidentally I had looked this up on the Wikipedia website, not so long ago, for I was interested in the term’s origin as well. You list many more sources for it though, and I greatly appreciate it.

In honor of Oscar Hammerstein I’d like to end my comment with this remark:

“Have a cigar?”

Posted by M. Hueber  on  03/13  at  03:30 PM

Well said M.Huber. Even Myself too have read the kind of content in Wikipedia. Talking about Oscars its is really outstanding. For those who are literally crazy about movies will surely enjoy every minute of the grand event.

Posted by Wedding Oxfordshire  on  06/22  at  02:06 AM

You should write Wikipedia pages! I love watching the oscars and never really looked into the history of it.

Posted by Chris  on  07/15  at  09:35 PM

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